Traumatic Stress: North and South Perspectives

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Knowledge production about traumatic stress has historically been dominated by the countries of the global North. This course aims to broaden the lens of traumatic stress to encompass both North and South perspectives. It will explore individual and collective aspects of traumatic stress, impacts of traumatic stress across cultural contexts, and approaches to trauma intervention in North and South settings. The course will invite students to engage critically with existing knowledge about traumatic stress and to develop a global perspective on trauma experiences, impacts and treatments.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this course the students should have the following learning outcomes:


The student has an in-depth knowledge of:

  • Different forms of trauma exposure, from the individual to the collective
  • Traumatic stress diagnoses in Northern classification systems as well as a range of culturally and contextually based traumatic stress responses
  • Treatment approaches developed in Northern contexts as well as current debates within global mental health about how to address traumatic stress in low- and middle-income countries


The student has the ability to:

  • critically evaluate how knowledge about traumatic stress is produced
  • recognize cultural and contextual variations in trauma experience and impact

General competencies:

By the end of the course the student has the ability to:

  • reflect on the complexity of traumatic stress and apply this awareness to understanding specific contexts of traumatic strass
  • coherently and critically communicate ideas about traumatic stress in global contexts

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
One year study at bachelor level
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a bachelor program in psychology, education, or special education at the Faculty of Psychology. Incoming exchange students at UiB have access to the course.
Teaching and learning methods
Lectures and seminars
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
  • Lectures, seminars and discussion section attendance are compulsory. As per the regulations of UiB, students are required to attend at least 80% of the course lectures and seminars
  • A short seminar assignment of 600 (+/- 10%) words. The assignment will not be graded, but qualitative feedback will be provided. Submission of the assignment is required to write the final exam.
  • Forms of Assessment

    A 72-hour written take home exam essay of 2500 words (+/- 10%).

    Please note that ChatGPT and all other AI text generators are not allowed in submitted written work and home exams.

    Grading Scale
    The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, and grade F is a fail.
    Assessment Semester
    Reading List
    Reading material will be provided to students before the start of the course. Students are also expected to source their own readings for the seminar assignment and final paper.
    Course Evaluation
    The students are expected to evaluate the course at the end of the semester according to procedures set by the Faculty of Psychology.
    Examination Support Material
    Programme Committee
    Department of Clinical Psychology.
    Course Coordinator
    Department of Clinical Psychology.
    Course Administrator
    Faculty of Psychology.